When news spread that “Sopranos” star James Gandolfini died at the age of 51 on Wednesday (June 19), Hollywood quickly offered an outpour of love for and memories of the beloved actor. While he was best known for his role as Tony Soprano on the acclaimed HBO show, his influence stretched far beyond that, even to those who never had the honor of working with him.
HBO remembered the legendary actor as a “special man” who not only was an incredible actor, but an outstanding person. “We’re all in shock and feeling immeasurable sadness at the loss of a beloved member of our family. He was a special man, a great talent, but more importantly a gentle and loving person who treated everyone no matter their title or position with equal respect.”
Meanwhile, celebrities took to Twitter to share their thoughts on the news. Jimmy Kimmel insisted that he was the most forlorn person, saying, “I’m sadder about James Gandolfini than everyone else.”
His “The Incredible Burt Wonderstone” co-star Steve Carell called his death “unbelievably sad” and called Gandolfini “a fine man.” Meanwhile, Carell’s “Office” co-star B.J. Novak linked to the actor’s “Inside the Actor’s Studio” interview, calling it “one of the most inspiring interviews about acting I have ever seen.”
James Gandolfini. Unbelievably sad news. A fine man.
— Steve Carell (@SteveCarell) June 20, 2013
Ewan McGregor seemed stunned by the news, writing, “Jesus. The world just lost one of its great actors. James Gandolfini has passed away. Thoughts to his family. Such a talent. I’m saddened.” Russell Crowe recalled his first introduction to the actor, writing, “First met Jimmy back in ’94. He was roommates in NY with Lenny Loftin. Lovely Man.”
“Star Trek: The Next Generation” actor Brent Spiner called his death “a tragedy,” adding, “He was a great, great actor.” Seth Green admitted he was “stunned,” calling Gandolfini “a powerful actor & a truly sweet man.” Thomas Lennon offered a decidedly more contemplative response, saying “Pines are truly barren tonight.”
Sad to hear about James Gandolfini . First met Jimmy back in '94.He was roommates in NY with Lenny Loftin. Lovely man. RIP Jimmy
— Russell Crowe (@russellcrowe) June 20, 2013
Actress Mia Farrow called the news “awful awful,” and reiterated his talent. “He was a great actor. Just great,” she said. Bryan Greenberg, who worked with Gandolfini, celebrated the actor’s generosity and kindness. “Both times I had small roles but he treated me with respect. RIP.”
Molly Ringwald offered a simple statement of condolences, saying “You will be missed.” Eli Roth, on the other hand, highlighted Gandolfini’s television legacy: “His iconic performance changed the way I looked at cable television and what was possible.”
James Gandolfini. You will be missed.
— Molly Ringwald (@MollyRingwald) June 20, 2013
Patton Oswalt, meanwhile, referenced the actor’s terrific performance in “True Romance” in his remembrance. “Death needs to get stabbed in the foot with a corkscrew by Patricia Arquette,” he said.
James Gandolfini’s passing is an awful shock. He was a fine actor, a Rutgers alum and a true Jersey guy.
— Governor Christie (@GovChristie) June 20, 2013
Although New Jersey Governor Chris Christie tweeted multiple times about the New Jersey-born actor, his first reaction was the most poignant. He said, “James Gandolfini’s passing is an awful shock. He was a fine actor, a Rutgers alum and a true Jersey guy.”